Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bobby Bare Jr. at Schubas w/Dr. Dog and Jeffrey Lewis 3/24/07

I only have this to say about opener Jeffrey Lewis at Schubas Saturday night - If you're a relatively unknown opening act, you have not earned the right to scold an audience for talking during your set. Yes, it was rude. Yes, I'd be frustrated too. But you have to do your time before you get to tell people to shut it. I don't care if you have quirky visual art to show while you sing a Nirvana cover. I don't care if you have a song that name drops Will Oldham and whines about being an indie artist no one has heard of. I don't care if you run your acoustic through a processor that makes it sound like an electric on almost every song. I might have been interested. The second you started whining at the audience, you lost me.

Everything about Dr. Dog screams jam band to me, but they don't jam. They look like a jam band and their audience seems to have that kind of devotion, and they definitely seem to owe some musical debt to the Grateful Dead, but their songs are way too tight for the analogy to go any farther. Their music definitely lives in the 60's / 70's. Beatlesque seems too light of a term to describe many of their songs. One of their 2 lead vocalists is a dead ringer for Lennon (while at the same time looking much like that Muppet who plays the saxophone, with the hat and shades), and they don't work very hard to keep anyone from drawing the Beatles' comparison. I had checked their album out a bit before the show and kind of liked it. I find the songs sticking in my head quite a bit. They were even more interesting live. I still can't count myself a big fan, but I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid seeing them again, nor would I advise anyone against checking them out.

Bobby Bare Jr. and the Young Criminals Starvation League took the stage about 12:30am (after quite a few Dr. Dog fans had cleared out). I'm getting way too old for a show that starts that late. He was well worth it though. He opened the show solo acoustic with "Let's Rock and Roll", then added banjo or mandolin plus vocals from Deanna Varagona for 3 more songs (Valentine, Mayonnaise Brain, and I'll Be Around) before breaking out the electric guitar and full band. Aside from the acoustic opening, this was a pretty standard BBJ show - which is to say it was great. This was the first show I've seen since Longest Meow came out (though he done some songs from it at the earlier shows I've been to) and I was really looking forward to seeing Deanna pumping out the Baritone Sax on "The Heart Bionic" - she didn't disappoint. Deanna really is the YCSL's secret weapon and I hope they keep her around for a long, long time. I wish they'd use her more vocally too. I'm dying to hear a live version of "Your Favorite Hat" with her and Bobby, but so far they've never delivered. The rest of the band was superb as usual too - and really enjoying themselves, which from an audience standpoint always makes a show a bit more fun.

The rest of the set list, in no particular order:

Monk at the Disco
Demon Valley
Bionic Beginning / The Heart Bionic
Gun Show
Uh Wuh Oh
Back to Blue
Flat Chested Girl
Borrow Your Cape

Sister Golden Hair (Solo acoustic) - there is a version of this up on his MySpace page
Where is My Mind (Solo acoustic)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (with Dr. Dog)
Terrible Sunrise
Stop Crying

I'm surprised there isn't more to this setlist, but as I scan over album track listings I'm fairly certain I'm not missing anything. I know there weren't any other covers, new songs, or Bare Jr. songs.

1 comment:

Laura-Marie said...

I love baritone sax! I love secret weapons!